Tae-Kwon Do students excel

By Doug Gorman

When Eid M. Koja, Master Instructor of the Tae-Kwon Do school in Fayetteville, speaks about the accomplishments of his students, there's pride in his voice.

With good reason.

Koja's students have turned into well-round citizens through their participation in the martial art, which is now an Olympic sport.

They are also earning plenty of honors competing in their sport.

"We have awesome children here," he said. "They believe in what they are doing, they have respects for others and they help others whenever they can. They have also follow whatever religion they believe in."

Many of Koja's students have turned into champions in their sport. At the recent Junior Olympic Tae Kwon Do Championships at the Georgia Dome, eight of his students brought home 10 medals in forms and

d sparring.

Savannah Jordan (gold in sparring), Aladdin Koja (bronze in forms, silver in sparring), Chris Martin (silver in forms, silver in sparring), Lontrell Anderson (silver in sparring), Matt Martin (silver in sparring), Charis Boveland (silver in sparring), Ronald Purifoy (bronze in sparring), Christian Martins (silver in bronze) were the school's award winners.

The medal winners will advance to the Atlantic Games at Tropicana Field in Tampa on Sept 11,

Members of the team enjoy looking participating in the sport.

"It takes a lot of endurance and hard work," said Matt Martin.

The rest of the medal winners seem to be on the same page when it comes to talking about the love they have for the sport, including the value of learning self-defense and discipline.

"We are not a day care center, but if students come here and work hard there are plenty of opportunities. Some colleges even give scholarships," Koja said.